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Seniors play their final game on home beach

Siddharth GAULEE

Siddharth GAULEE

John Stevens, [email protected]

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The 2017 Bayou Beach Bash brought all the attention to the ULM beach volleyball program last weekend. The tournament included players from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist and ULM.

The tournament opened up at 9 a.m. on Friday with a match between ULM and Corpus Christi. e Warhawks were able to capture a 4-1 with victories from the pairings of Hadley Swartz and Kori Simpson as well as Delaney Driver and Gabby Love.

“I was very impressed with Gabby and Delaney today,” said head coach Patrick Hiltz. “They played smart and controlled their emotions really well; two key pieces to winning beach volleyball matches.”

The win against Corpus Christi added to the team’s winning streak, making it seven in a row. However, for the Warhawks, the next opponent would prove to be tougher than expected.

In the second duel of the day against Central Arkansas, the heavy hitting of the Bears on the court challenged the ladies.

The Bears’ number three pairing of Kate El- man and Heather Schnars soundly defeated the ULM pairing of Claire Cross eld and Tara Jen- kins. Unfortunately, by the time the Warhawks tried to rally, it was too late, and Central Arkansas had already taken the match 3-2.

After the match, coach Hiltz talked about the unusual errors his team was making in the duel. “We have to nd our swagger again,” he said. “We made way too many errors today. Our serve receive was erratic, and it created too many situations for us where we couldn’t side out.” Hiltz went on to say that, while his team did not play to expectations, he admired the play of the opposition.
“I have to give credit to UCA for playing consistent, ball control volleyball. They looked very comfortable and kept the pressure on us to score.”

On Saturday, the Warhawks not only looked to bounce back, but also to honor their six graduating seniors.

The team will be losing Delaney Driver, Claire Crossfield, Becca Brown, Kori Simpson, Hadley Swartz and Ana Ribeiro.

While many showed their sadness for these great student athletes, everyone agreed that the most missed would be Ribeiro.

The 6-foot senior from Portugal came to ULM in 2015 and has since left her mark on the indoor and beach volleyball programs. While her numbers may not be as impressive as others, it’s her attitude towards life that everyone is talking about.

At the Senior Day festivities, coach Hiltz spoke highly about Ribeiro. “Ana simply loves people, and people love her. We can all take a lesson from Ana as to how we should live our lives and how we should treat people everyday.”

All seniors were presented with a plaque and owers from Dr. Bruno, Brian Wickstrom and coach Hiltz.

After the ceremony, the Warhawks were back in action against TCU for the nal match of the weekend. In front of their home crowd one last time for the season, the Warhawks fell to TCU by a nal score of 4-1.

After the tournament, the team will look to regroup when they travel to Joelton, Tennessee, where they will face Austin Peay State, More- head State, UT Martin and UAB.

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Seniors play their final game on home beach